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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  May 3, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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developing right now, ukrainian forces just retook the security headquarters from pro-russian troops in a new round of fighting that's leaving hospitals overcrowded with the wounded. this as the mourning and cleanup is underway after one of the deadliest days yet. we're live at the white house, and we're also live on the ground in eastern ukraine with the latest. also ahead -- >> if he was a real racist, then why would he help the world the way that he has? >> defending donald sterling. the woman at the center of the scandal tells abc that he is not
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a racist and is, quote, hurting. more of her comments as we look at sterling's legal options and why some insist a player's boycott may still happen. also today, a major endorsement for a campaign that has not even started. the latest democrat backing hillary clinton. and a new generation of power. one city's plans to transform landfills into sources of energy. it's today's big idea. it is also derby day. with horse names like wicked strong, junk in the trunk, and thissier's favorite, california chrome, will we get our first triple crown winner in 36 years? we'll go to churchill downs as well. good saturday to you. i'm craig melvin. in ukraine, they're calling it war. right now the military is desperately trying to take back portions of that country from pro-russian separatists. it all came to a bloody head friday when at least 42 people were killed in odessa as fires
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and gunfights broke out during violent clashes between pro and anti-russian groups. 125 people were hurt yesterday. russia's president vladimir putin is blaming the surge in violence on ukraine and the west as well. it's putting new pressure on the white house to find a way to force russia to withdraw. nbc's kristen welker is live for us at the white house with more this afternoon. kristen, first of all, what are president obama's options here? >> well, he doesn't have a whole lot of options, craig. the president has been quite clear that a military option is off the table. so right now the u.s. and its european partners are focusing on sanctions. they have so far implemented several rounds of sanctions, which have largely been targeted at individuals. on friday, president obama met with german chancellor angela merkel here at the white house, and the two made a pretty big announcement, which is that they had agreed to move forward with
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sectorial sanctions, if the crisis in ukraine worsens after the may 25th election. so i don't anticipate that we'll see any new sanctions prior to that. then a final decision will be based on what is actually happening in ukraine. this is significant, craig, because the u.s. had wanted to enforce sectorial sanctions, sanctions against the larger sectors of russia's economy. but the u.s.'s european allies had been resistant to do so because their economies are so tightly linked with that of russia. and german chancellor angela merkel was really the lynch pin here. the fact they've agreed to move forward with these sanctions means they are on the same page about something about which they were sharply divided a few days ago. in terms of what those specific sanctions will look like, that remains to be seen. interesting to note, president obama did not mention sanctioning the energy sector in his remarks yesterday. the other option that the u.s.
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has is to potentially send military aid to ukraine. that is something that ukrainian officials have been calling for, but at this point in time, the u.s. says that they're not going to take that route. so far, though, craig, one more point, putin hasn't been swayed by the sanctions. so it's hard to see what will change between now and those may 25th elections. but the u.s. and its european partners continuing to be in touch as they monitor the ongoing crisis there. craig? >> kristen welker for us from 1600 pennsylvania avenue. kristen, thanks as always. we'll have a report from ukraine coming up in just a few moments here. meanwhile today, president obama has announced plans to tour the devastating tornado damage in arkansas first hand. the president will be meeting with the families affected. he'll also be meeting with first responders and recovery workers wednesday. tornadoes struck the state earlier this week, killing 15 in arkansas alone. at least 34 others died in those storms that barrelled through mississippi, alabama, oklahoma,
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and iowa. this will be president obama's first trip to arkansas while in office. a big endorsement today for a candidate who's not even running for office just yet. hillary clinton. this morning, virginia senator tim kain announced his support for a possible clinton run for the white house in 2016. kain telling the south carolina women's democratic council that clinton is, quote, the right person for the job. we will dig into the significance of that announcement with the brain trust. coming up. the fastest two minutes in all of sports gets underway in just a few hours. of course, we're talking about the 140th kentucky derby. this year's favorite to win, there he is, california chrome. and the weather in kentucky could not be nicer. here's dylan dreyer with what we can expect. >> this year, the weather is going to be ideal. if it's too hot, you can run into the situation where it's just bad for the horses.
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if it's too cold and too rainy, well, it's bad for everybody trying to watch the races. but this year we're looking at partly cloudy skies, temperatures around 70 to 75 degrees, and not much humidity either. so that's good for everyone involved here. and especially those horses. >> all right. that was dylan dreyer in his big red hat at churchill downs for us this saturday afternoon. you can watch today's running of the kentucky derby starting at 4:00 eastern on your local nbc station. well, the woman whose taped conversation with donald sterling started the fire storm speaks out and defends him. new surprising details this afternoon about those allegations of racism linked to the billionaire who owns the l.a. clippers. for the first time, we're hearing from the two people at the center of the scandal. the 80-year-old billionaire sterling broke his silence, telling "du jour" mag, quote, i wish i had just paid her off. that her refers to his one-time
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companion. last night, she told abc's barbara walters that his words speak for themselves, but his actions prove he's not a racist. >> is donald sterling a racist? >> no. i don't believe it in my heart. >> have you heard him say derogatory things about minorities in general, blacks in particular? >> absolutely. >> you've heard him say derogatory things? >> yes. >> don't they sound racist to you? >> i think the things he says are not what he feels. anyone can say anything in the heat of the moment. >> espn's jamel hill has been following the story closely. always good to see you. thanks for being with me. let's start with that stiviano interview. she really came to donald sterling's defense. what do you make of that? >> well, can we be all that
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surprised? if the reports are to be believed, the fact that based off their friendship, she's gotten $1.8 million, a bentley, and a range rover. i guess that was enough to curry some favor to buy some kind words. i didn't know what to make of it. i think if anybody heard the audio recording that kind of started all this, you could see that, you know, i don't think she even had a clear understanding of what his thought process is like. for her to say that she still doesn't consider him a racist is just unfathomable to me. >> you wrote today, quote, the clippers players, along with players from other teams who protested sterling by wearing their warm-up jerseys inside out and applauded silver's punishment, need to ask themselves if they're capable of sustained anger. if donald sterling won't leave the nba the easy way, there's nothing wrong with making his stay as painful as possible.
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for most of sterling's tenure, the clippers were considered an nba wasteland. they can be turned into that again. how do you suggest players, fans, and even coach doc rivers and the owners, how do they go about doing that? >> here's the thing. i think that, as i alluded to in the column, this is going to be a pretty long fight. it may honestly may be a fight that the nba might not win. donald sterling has a very deserved reputation as someone who loves litigation. when he was a trial lawyer, he estimated he tried over 10,000 cases. if you look at his history as an owner, he's sued a former coach. he's had nasty arbitration battles. so this is somebody who does not go away quietly. and i think he's going to be very stubborn. and this isn't to say the nba doesn't have a good case. but they have to leave open the possibility that this may not happen as quickly as they think. so they have to ask themselves, even though donald sterling has been removed from all team
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activities, he can't go to practice, can't show up at the arena, if he's still benefitting financially, what are they prepared to do to at least in the interim drive home the point that his ownership is not acceptable to them. >> what are you hearing about possible buyers for the clippers? >> well, i mean, there's been a lot of speculation. clearly, because they're in a desirable location of l.a., they share the staples center, and while they don't necessarily have the history of a los angeles lakers, it's still a really good investment. you have oprah winfrey, also magic johnson. he said he wasn't trying to angle to get the clippers, but i would imagine if they became available, you're going to get a long list of people and groups that are trying to get that team because they probably feel like despite all the bad history that's been associated with the clippers, it's still a terrific investment. >> yeah, a team that at last check at least was valued at
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somewhere around $600 million. espn's jamel hill, always good to see you. thanks again. >> thank you. condoleezza rice responds to the students and faculty who wanted to keep her out of their graduation ceremony. meanwhile, here in d.c., congress is reviewing the city wide law that decriminalizes marijuana. d.c.'s only member of congress, eleanor holmes norton, calls the move inappropriate and illegitimate. she'll join me live. plus, a group of clergy says north carolina's ban on same-sex marriage violates their religious freedoms. i'll talk to one baptist pastor behind the very unusual claim that's now a federal lawsuit. (music) defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. calcium citrate plus d. highly soluble, easily absorbed. disturbing the pantry. ortho crime files. a house, under siege.
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condoleezza rice has been effectively kicked off the campus of rutgers university. rice said today she will not be giving the commencement address there. she had been set to give that address may 18th. protests and sit-ins from students and faculty over her role in the iraq war have dominated headlines for weeks. rice wrote on her facebook page today that she realizes the invitation to speak had, quote, become a distraction. the university's president says rutgers respects her decision. arkansas's attorney general announced today that he supports same-sex marriage. the state has a constitutional ban against same-sex couples marrying, but the attorney general tells the associated press he'll continue to defend that law in court despite his personal opinions. a judge is set to rule by friday in a lawsuit challenging arkansas's ban. dustin mcdaniel, the democrat, is the first statewide office in arkansas to speak out in support of same-sex marriage. secretary of state john
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kerry has been subpoenaed to appear before the house oversight committee. congressman issa wants kerry to answer questions about the administration's response to the september 11th, 2012, attacks on the american diplomatic outpost in benghazi. kerry plans to be in mexico that day, and that the department will review his schedule. house lead verers have called f new committee to investigate. >> there are reports now that speaker boehner is preparing to create a special select committee to look into benghazi. is that something you have talked to him about at all? what is your reaction to that? >> that would be news to me. i've not been informed by the speaker of his plans to establish such a commission, is it? benghazi is such a very sad
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event, more than event, a tragedy. >> you'll be able to catch that entire interview tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. on "up" with steve kornacki. a congressional subcommittee will be holding a hearing next week on washington, d.c.'s proposed new law decriminalizing marijuana. under the new law, those found with small amounts of pot would be subject to a $25 fine, not jail time. smoke pot, meanwhile, in public remains illegal. that bill passed the d.c. council with a 10-1 vote back in march. the mayor signed it into law. so why does congress have the final say on a local ordinance? i want to bring in washington, d.c. democrat congresswoman eleanor holmes norton. you're scheduled to be testifying on the house committee on this may 8th. >> i am. because there should be no hearing on this. >> why do you think the committee has decided to even take a look at this thing? >> this committee -- and i'm on
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the full committee, not the subcommittee -- has looked at the conflict between local and federal laws on marijuana, and you'll note that 18 states have decriminalized marijuana. we are now simply joining them. but in none of those hearings was any local official calls. now, he's tried to call local officials, and he's going to get at least some or perhaps a police official. >> when you say he? >> that is john micah, the chair of the subcommittee. he's at odds with how the full committee has treated d.c., which is, you know, d.c. things are for d.c. he's respected home rule. john micah is now into way overreach because he's calling -- he's looking at our law, singling out our law. now, our law, as it turns out, has the layover. this is another one of the illegitimate actions of congress. it has the layover for 60 days.
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so it could be a run up to trying to overturn the law. i'm going to testify and say, don't even try. >> the last time the law was overturned by congress was 1991, right? >> that's right. they don't -- they usually don't to it up front. they sneak it into some other bill. but we shouldn't be having this at all. and note the reason the council moved so quickly. by the way, not as quickly as other states. and there was a study done that showed that african-americans are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites in the district of columbia, the progressive district of columbia. by the way, that's a nationwide phenomenon as well. >> do you ever get tired of this? do you ever get tired of spending so much time in d.c. trying to convince your friends and colleagues to stop picking on the red-headed stepchild that has become washington, d.c.? >> that is such a good question. if i were not a third-generation
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washi washingtonian -- >> but politically, what's it about? why do so many members of congress feel compelled to stick their collective noses in the business of running the city? >> the fact is, we've beat them back by going strong at them for most of the time. but there will always be an outlier who says, here is an opportunity for me to show off an issue back home. that's interesting. john micah wants to show off to his far-right base that he's against marijuana, and he can't do that in the 18 states, so he uses us as the poster child to do it. and we're not going to let him get away with it. by the way, his state is one of the worst in the disparity between blacks and whites being arrested for marijuana possession. >> congresswoman eleanor holmes norton, good to see you. >> you should go smoke that. >> and we'll leave it there. thank you as always. a visit to an animal shelter led to a discovery that one new
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pass it again. >> and that, of course, was president obama at the annual white house correspondence dinner back in 2012. nerd prom, has it has become known, is tonight here in washington. hence the field trip. it is a night when hollywood celebrities descend on d.c. to rub shoulders with the political elite. tonight's entertainment joel mchale, host of "the soup," is also a member of nbc's community as well. coming up in our next hour, michael kelly, who plays the president's chief of staff, will join me onset. and of course, there's "scandal." and we will give you an inside look behind the scenes of the dinner and the parties that
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surround the event. first, though, the crisis in ukraine is getting worse as forces battle with pro-russian troops, and a new round of fierce fighting has sent more people to the hospital after one of the deadliest days yet. we'll give a live report on the ground next. i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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that's why verizon built americas largest 4g lte network. because the only thing that really matters are the results you get. so for the best devices the best network and for best results, use verizon. the ukrainian forces today are fighting to oust pro-russian separatists in eastern regions of that country. the results of the fighting could be seen in some eastern cities as the kiev government moves against pockets of resistance. all of this comes after a deadly day of clashes in the city of odessa. at least 42 people were killed there. well over 100 were hurt. nbc's reporter is with us from ukraine. what can you tell us about the standoff between the ukrainian military and the separatists? >> as you know, the ukrainian
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special forces announced a counter terrorist operation here in the east of ukraine. and two helicopters were reported shot down with two servicemen reported dead yesterday morning. that was in the early hours of the morning. and despite that, there have been no dependent confirmations by journalists who have been in the area but have not seen much of any military action going on. now, the roads surrounding the small towns that have been taken over by separatists have these check points. some of them are operated by the militia. some of them are operated by the military. but there is no clear visible mass strength of the military in the area, despite the russian media reporting that deaths are taking place and
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counterterrorism operations are underway. >> let's talk about the observers that had been held there. pro-russian separatists earlier today released that group of international observers. what's being said there about the release? >> well, the release came somewhat unexpected, although, of course, there have been talks for more than a week about their detention. it's interesting to note that a representative from russia, one of the president's advisers, has been in the town of slavyansk involved in the negotiations. in fact, he was accompanying the osce observers as they left today. their arrival to donetsk was delayed by reported gunfire on the road from slavyansk to donetsk. so they were held up at a check point but did eventually manage to make their way to donetsk.
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we didn't learn much about the detention except that they seem to have been held until fairly reasonable conditions. but we are probably going to learn more about what the detainment was about and what comes next a bit later on. >> nbc's albina kovalyova from ukraine. thank you. here's a quick look at some of the other top stories making news. the desperate search for survivors is underway in afghanistan. a massive mudslide buried an entire village there. the united nations says at least 350 people are dead so far. the associated press reports that the number of nigerian girls missing after islamic extremists attacked their school has risen to 276 girls, 30 more than previously believed. in washington this morning, on the steps of the lincoln memorial, about 150 people rallied in support of the girls. they say they want the united states to pressure nigeria to
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take more aggressive action to rescue the girls. also from here in d.c., a building that houses a strip club collapses. it's all caught on camera. four nearby buildings were also damaged. there was some construction going on nearby. at this point, it's not clear if that's what triggered the collapse. one person was hurt. that person is expected to be okay. new support and new questions today for hillary clinton, if she decides to run for the white house in 2016. also, jeb bush gets some words of encouragement from his former president brother. could 2016 shape up as the battle of america's political dynasties? the brain trust here in the flesh on a saturday afternoon in d.c. bob franken is a syndicated columni columnist. and mercedes is a republican strategist, also former spokesperson for the george w. bush administration.
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good to see all of you here in the flesh. this is nice. i should have brought you something. we don't have a budget for gifts. let's start with the news today, bob. tim kaine threw his support behind hillary clinton down in south carolina. the senator was one of barack obama's earliest supporters back in 2007. tweeted this morning, today i encouraged hillary clinton to run for president and pledged my support for her candidacy if she does. why now? why come out and support someone who hasn't even announced yet? >> this is a very careful man. i think the answer is, why not? i mean, what's the worst that could happen? if she does run, she's the front runner. and if she doesn't run, well, then he can say, well, you know, i'll move on to such and such and so and so. joe biden or whomever else it is. >> so it's a win-win for him? >> absolutely. he took that risk with obama in 2008, as did many others,
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include iing caroline kennedy. shifting to hillary, it's a safe bet. they're playing it safely here. when you look at ready for hillary pac, they've raised millions of dollars. when you're talking over 60% of democrats are backing her up, she's in a good position. >> well, and the one thing that continues to dog her, of course, benghazi, benghazi, benghazi. house speaker john boehner in a statement on friday, i'm sure you saw this, said in part, quote, the administration's withholding of documents, e-mails, showing greater white house involvement and misleading the american people is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built. with that, boehner announced a new special committee is going to be investigating what happened in benghazi. has hillary clinton handled this the best way that she can? >> i think she has. about this special committee, it will be unprecedented if this special committee doesn't have
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any democrats on it and isn't a bipartisan effort. as the last i've heard, i don't know how many have been invited to be a part of this, but it seems there's this constant witch hunt going on with republican leadership that is designed to take out whoever might be the presidential hopeful. they were upset president obama won, so they decided they're going to take out anything he tried to do. now with hillary, they're just trying to pre-empt her. >> how much is this committee going to be about a genuine search for truth, and how much is it going to be about scoring political points in a run up to the midterm? >> the first question was the search for truth. zero. the second part, 100%. the other problem is these house committees are going to be tripping over one another. you have daryl issa making a career of going after hillary clinton when he's not going after the irs deal. i think he's going to be a little bent out of shape if his committee is in any way big footed by the select committee. >> mercedes, this is what was in
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the national journal friday. someone tweets about benghazi every 12 seconds. not every 12 days or 12 minutes, but every 12 seconds. we should know that msnbc nor nbc news has been able to verify whether that's actually true. >> that's a lot. >> yeah. >> i thought they were, you know, tweeting about the white house correspondence dinner, not bengha benghazi. >> tonight hopefully. but seriously, what is it? is it about a legitimate search for the truth or more red meat for the base? >> i think it's both. you look at over 60% of americans want congress to further investigate on benghazi. there are these questions about -- >> i have seen that poll, by the way. >> i'm happy to send you -- it was a fox news poll. >> oh, okay. >> but wait a second. the democrats, it was over 50% of the democrats in that poll agreed that there should be further investigation. independents, large majority. republicans, over 80%. not surprised about that. there is that note that there is new evidence. the fact that the state department did not give any of
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these e-mails or documents to judicial watch, and judicial watch had to sue the state department, i mean, it just makes it an opening for the republican congressmen to go after them. >> well, the one thing i will say is first of all, the republicans are going to be -- are going to say anything and everything they can about benghazi because they have the democrats on the run. they're going to also say anything and everything about irs. some people would say that's really kind of the big lie technique. the other part of this is that the obama administration, to be perfectly honest, has really blown it. >> let's pivot here and talk about 2016 quickly. jeb bush picking up a not-so-surprising endorsement thursday on cnn. take a listen. >> i hope jeb runs. i think he would be a great president. i have no clue what's on his mind. we'll talk when he's ready. i notice he's moving around the country quite a bit. >> i love him. >> i love it.
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george w. bush should have his own show. >> are you thinking what i'm thinking? cnn could have really caused an uproar at saying, i have no clue. >> hey, hey. that was my old boss. >> i like it. i think that's exactly right. here's the thing, though. we like to talk about 2016 a lot here. the public doesn't seem to be very interested at all in a clinton/bush race. this is an nbc news "wall street journal" poll. more than two-thirds of those questioned in the poll think that more than two families should be in contention for the presidency. that seems like the no brainer. what is our obsession with, you know, the clintons, the bushes? >> here's the thing. the question i think that we should be asking is where's the bench, right? if there are only the clintons and bushes, then clearly in our democracy, there's a problem with a bench. >> who's on the bench for democrats? >> i mean, who thinks they're on
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the bench -- >> elizabeth warren is on the bench. >> martin o'malley. >> i thought that, you know -- well, i thought that my virginia senator was on the bench. i think there's really an interesting kind of conversation to be had about what is happening with politics and what the barriers of participation are. because you see these two families have dynasties because they're the ones with the money. and the money is the barrier to entrance to really be able to compete. that's why you don't see anyone else. >> speaking of jeb bush, "new york times" reporting that the folks that typically fund campaign campaigns, a lot of those big-money donors continue to have second thoughts about governor chris christie. in private conversations that are now seeping into public view, some donors are signaling to mr. christie's camp that should mr. bush enter the race, their first loyalty would be to him, not to mr. christie. does governor christie simply come with too much baggage? >> not surprising. he still has two probes to go
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through. with federal prosecutors as well as a democratically controlled state legislature. he's not out of the woods with this bridgegate scandal. so he's got his issues. and quite frankly, i think that they feel it's much more of a safe bet with jeb bush. he could survive in a general election. he knows how to bring in a broad coalition, which is exactly the kind of candidate we need. >> this is nice. we should do this more often. >> come down more often. >> well, if we had a travel budget, we'd get you out there. as we've been reporting here, the white house announced earlier today that president obama will be traveling to arkansas wednesday to tour tornado damage. a fierce tornado barrelled through that state earlier this week, killing 15 people. part of the system that struck the south, just part of the system that struck the south. it was on this day in 1999 that the most powerful tornado mother nature can produce slammed into the oklahoma city suburb of moore. this is how the "today" show reported on the destruction the
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next morning. >> there were at least a dozen tornadoes. one of them a monster. a mile wide in some places with winds clocked up to 260 miles per hour. >> we got in the cellar. there was about 15 of us. you could hear the tornado come over, and the tornado ripped the door off the cellar and debris started coming down the cellar. mud, all kinds of stuff. >> it flattened entire neighborhoods in oklahoma city, several of its suburbs and small towns. >> that storm killed 45 people. the tornado was later rated an ef-5, the most powerful kind of tornado. winds more than 300 miles an hour. it left in its path more than $1 billion in damage. it was almost 14 years to that day just last year that another ef-5 twister struck the town of moore. that storm was packing winds
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estimated at 210 miles per hour. that storm left 24 people dead. turning trash into treasure. of sorts. one city transforming wastelands into sources of power. will today's big idea come to your city? that's next. me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain. this is humira helping me lay the groundwork. this is humira helping to protect my joints from further damage. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira is proven to help relieve pain and stop further joint damage in many adults. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened.
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blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. take the next step. talk to your doctor. this is humira at work. ♪ no matter what kind of business you own, at&t business experts can help keep it running... seamlessly. so you can get back to what you love. when everyone and everything works together, business just sings.
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(music) defiance is in our bones. defiance never grows old. citracal maximum. calcium citrate plus d. highly soluble, easily absorbed. turning mounds of trash into farms that can power hundreds of homes. it's today's big idea. the city of atlanta is turning 33 acres of old landfills into solar farms. once it's finalized, the solar panels could convert enough energy to power about 525 homes every year. the city's sustainability director joins us. first of all, how was this idea born? how did it come about? >> hi, craig. you know, this is an idea that we are always looking for opportunities to continue to add more green energy to the city.
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so we have a great staff on board and brought this up as a suggestion. and we are actively pursuing it. >> how effective could this be for the big a.? >> you know, so again, there's a potential to convert about three megawatts of solar energy to add to the grid here in atlanta. >> in terms of power, i mean, give us an idea of what that would mean for a grid like that. >> sure. so again, you know, one megawatt powers on average in the state of georgia about 150 to 160 homes or so. if we are selected for this program working with our partner to lease our land, there's, you know, quite a bit of opportunity here. >> what's the next step? >> so the next step is that we're going through the legislative process right now working with city council to get this approved as well as there's an application process for georgia power. there's a program called the
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advanced solar initiative. it's a lottery system, so we have our fingers crossed. >> part of the land, as i understand it at least, that will be turned into a solar farm sits on the property of heartsville international. does that mean part of it will be powered by solar energy? >> two of the power cells proposed for this project are at the airport. but the energy will be added back to the grid. so it will be, you know, used somewhere in the state of georgia. but yes, the airport is a possibility. >> all right. denise, keep us posted on this. this is a fascinating idea. we wanted to get you on to hear more about it. >> absolutely. thank you. >> and do you have a big idea? you can let us know about it on twitter. use #whatisthebigidea. you can also shoot us an e-mail as well. there's the address.
11:49 am up next, the north carolina baptist pastor who says the state's ban on same-sex marriage suppresses her religious freedom. she's going to join me live with the surprising reason why next. who are we? we are the thinkers. the job jugglers. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours.
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turning dreamers into business owners. man: we know when parents and teachers work together... woman: our schools get stronger. man: as superintendent of public education, that's been tom torlakson's approach. woman: torlakson has supported legislation to guarantee spending decisions about our education tax dollars are made by parents, teachers and the local community... and not by sacramento politicians.
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and we need to keep that legislation on track. man: so tell tom torlakson to keep fighting for local control of school funding decisions.
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they're like rock stars. right now, princes harry and william are in our country. they're in the united states for a buddy' wedding. it's happening today. earlier today, nearly 100 screaming fans greeted the royals as they left a memphis barbecue street. the pair also visited the home of american royalty elvis presley. they took a private tour with some of their friends. the princes will be attending the wedding of london nightclub owner guy pelley at a tennessee polo club. meanwhile, clergy in north carolina are putting a new twist on the legal battle against
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same-sex marriage bans. the united church of christ and local ministers in north carolina filed a federal lawsuit this week saying amendment one, a state constitutional amendment which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, violates their religious freedom. it's the first faith-based challenge to same-sex marriage bans in the country. the united church of christ has supported same-sex marriages since 2005. reverend nancy petty is the pastor of memorial church in raleigh. she's also a plaintiff in the case. reverend petty, why does the ban on same-sex marriage violate your religious freedoms? >> there's a law that criminalizes clergy to perform any marriage without a valid marriage license. of course, in our state, in north carolina, same-sex couples cannot apply and be granted a
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marriage license. so any time that i as a minister within my local setting choose to bless a marriage of a same-sex couple, in essence, i'm committing a crime, a misdemeanor in my state. >> how do you make a case in that state when voters overwhelmingly said back in 2012 that they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman? i believe it was 61% of north carolinians voted yes to ban same-sex marriage to 39%. how do you square your views with the will of the people in north carolina? >> right. i think what i would say to that, craig, is that at the time of amendment one, there was a lot of confusion in our state about what the amendment said, how it was presented on the ballot in north carolina to the people. and what we found that as, we went out into neighborhoods and talked with people, that people were very confused about the
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amendment. if you vote for it, does that mean you're voting against the amendment? there was just a lot of confusion in north carolina about the ballot and about how to vote on the ballot. so what we found as we went into neighborhoods all across the state with a program race to the ballot that w ballot, we found that people were actually very open to same-sex marriage, to civil unions. but they just didn't understand the wording on amendment one. >> tammy fitzgerald, the executive director of the north carolina values coalition, i'm sure you know her. it's a group which supported the north carolina ban on same-sex marriage. she responded to your lawsuit in an interview with the associated press saying in part, quote, it is both ironic and sad that an entire religious denomination and its clergy who purport holding to christian teachings on marriage would look to the
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courts to justify their errant believes. what's your reaction to that? >> yeah, i think part of what we're trying to say, the ucc denomination, and i'm not here to speak for them, but for what we as clergy are trying to do is to say we're not trying to force our beliefs, our principles, our theology on anyone else. we're not trying to say what other people should or shouldn't do. we're simply asking for our rights based on our religious values and principles of what we can do under religious freedom, what kind of unions we can bless in our own churches. >> reverend petty, we're going to have to leave it there. thank you. >> thank you. right now, washington, d.c. getting ready for the annual white house correspondence dinner, otherwise known as nerd prom. coming up, an inside look at all the glitz, glamour, and general silliness that goes along with this festivity melding of d.c.
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politics and hollywood stardom. along with a look back at some of the biggest laugh lines of recent years. we've got insider interviews with three big-time stars from some of the best-known political dramas around right now. hear what they have to say right after this. it was a blistery rash. i couldn't lay down i couldn't sit up because it burned so much. as first lady of our church we have meetings. we have activities. and i couldn't do any of that. any time anything brushed up against this rash it would seem like it would set it on fire again. it was the worst pain i ever had.
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and that's epic, bro, we've forgotten just how good good is. good is setting a personal best before going for a world record. good is swinging to get on base before swinging for a home run.
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[ crowd cheering ] good is choosing not to overshoot the moon, but to land right on it and do some experiments. ♪ so start your day off good with a coffee that's good cup after cup. maxwell house. ♪ good to the last drop my fellow americans -- >> thank you and good evening. >> i really did not want to be here tonight. >> i'm absolutely delighted to be here. >> pause for laughter. >> washington and hollywood. >> this is no ordinary dinner. >> this dinner's gotten out of hand in recent years. >> this is so much cooler than the correspondence' dinner. >> that was a joke. >> welcome to nerd prom. >> and welcome to the nerd prom indeed. i'm craig melvin coming to you live from d.c. on the day hollywood meets